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Tag: Brazil

In memory of a shaman: Tëpi Pajé

Tëpi Pajé (Photo: Barbara Arisi)



By Barbara Arisi

Tëpi Pajé was a powerful shaman of the Matis people. He was called xó’xókit, a word that names the one who cooks , the one who carries, owns or works with too much xó. The is the shamanic substance of power for the Matis. Tëpi was the only matis to be called xó‘xókit. On March 7th, Tëpi died.

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Some thoughts on film in ethnography

Still from ‘Inside the Mind of Favela Funk’

By Ina Keuper     On 7 December the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology organized its second Ethnographic Film Day, which featured four rather different ethnographic documentaries. Former staff member Ina Keuper was there and shares some thoughts on Standplaats Wereld about these particular films and the role of this visual medium in anthropology.

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7 December: VU Amsterdam Ethnographic Film Day

aefd_bannerWhat is the value of film as medium for ethnographic fieldwork? With which dilemmas are film-making anthropologists confronted? What is the relationship between visual methods and other methods? What do visual methods contribute to research?

The Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology of the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam presents the Amsterdam Ethnographic Film Day during which we will screen ethnographic films and discuss the various theories and methods of visual anthropology. We aim to provide a platform for anthropologists and documentary makers engaging in visual anthropology to show their films and communicate their experiences with, and thoughts on, ethnographic film-making. For more information, visit our Facebook page or website.


Invisible Barriers

A fourth and last field report from the VU’s Master students, once again reposted from the Vamos Bien website. Martina Morbidini conducts research on informal waste collectors in Brazil, ‘catadores’ in Portuguese.


By Martina Morbidini     Belo Horizonte is an egg, they say. It’s a huge city, yet everyone seems to know each other and happen to meet in the strangest situations, so that living here seems more like living in a huge village instead of in a city. As I arrived here, friendship ties left two years ago at an embryonic stage flourished as if it was ‘normal’. I found my current house by greeting a familiar face on the street, with the two of us not really knowing who the other was and why we knew each other. This city is full of beautiful, casual encounters.

So I ask myself why, in a city of 2.5 million people, ‘everyone’ seems to meet known people all the time, instead of giving the impression of being lost and surrounded by strangers all the time.

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